Communication Studies Major, B.A.
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships – marriages, families, organizations of every kind – together.”
~ from First Things First by Steven R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, and Rebecca R. Merrill
In the Communication Studies degree program at MSU Denver, you’ll learn essential skills for work and family life – from trust building to persuading, from negotiating to resolving conflict, from training others to crafting memorable messages. Our majors and minors excel in five ways demanded by employers, needed in communities, and essential to thriving relationships: communicating effectively in speech and writing, thinking critically, practicing ethics and respect for diversity, understanding new communication technologies, and collaborating successfully with others.
Communication Studies students go on to careers in organizational leadership, counseling and training, marketing and public information management, sales and customer relations, nonprofit advocacy and education. Our team of passionate, expert faculty will teach you how to excel in almost any situation. In Business and Professional Speaking, you’ll practice how to land a job thanks to your first-rate personal brand and interviewing skills. In Mediating Conflict, you’ll apply strategies for bringing people together to solve difficult, sometimes personal problems. In Techniques of Persuasion, you’ll learn communication techniques that motivate, inspire, and change others. Across the curriculum, you’ll get the applied learning and personal attention that makes our program so valuable.
The B.A. in Communication Studies offers the choice of emphases in these areas:
- Generalist students develop a uniquely broad broad base of communication knowledge and skill.
- Organizational Communication prepares you for careers in consulting, training, employee relations and management.
- Strategic Relationship Maintenance students develop expertise in interpersonal relationships, perfect preparation for human resource specialists, mediators, and personal relationship consultants.
- Rhetoric, Ethics and Social Justice sets the stage for careers in law, sales, speech writing, theology, and more.
Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver
Communication Studies faculty design high-impact classes and educational experiences. These include, unique campus-based internships, original undergraduate research, applied service learning, and meaningful teamwork. Three student-led organizations – the CommCADRE Mentorship program, our chapter of the Lambda Pi Eta honors society, and our International Association of Business Communicators chapter – showcase our students’ leadership, creativity, and involvement in the department and beyond.
Communication Studies students also regularly present their original research and service projects at the MSU Denver Undergraduate Research Conference and Student Impact and Innovation Showcase. Communication Studies is the "What can’t you do with that?” major (or minor). Contact the department today to schedule a one-on-one meeting with a faculty advisor.
Career Opportunities for Our Graduates
MSU Denver’s degree in Communications Studies can help you build the communication skills necessary to succeed in today’s competitive job market. The career possibilities for Communication Studies majors is nearly endless and includes these sectors: advertising, business and nonprofits, communication and health care, government/politics, international relations and negotiations, law and social and human services.
Hear from our students:
"I use theoretical and applied knowledge from my Communication degree at work every day. Many parts of my job depend on my ability to effectively communicate to different audiences. I come to work looking forward to making a difference in students’ lives by helping guide them through the career-development process. The Communication Arts and Sciences department has the best faculty and curriculum for students interested in communication!"
Lisa Clark (MSU Denver '13) is a graduate student career advisor at the Colorado School of Mines.
Professor and Department Chair Karen Lollar believes that communication defines what it means to be human. Sharing her love for the intricacies of human communication is why she teaches its theories and philosophies. Her most recent research interests include ambiguity and transparency, invisibility as a coping strategy and narrative identity.
Assistant Professor Samuel Jay’s research examines how digital communication technologies and their users generate and circulate emotional energy and how that energy adds rhetoric effectiveness to disparate discourses including politics, sports and economics.
Assistant Professor Brenden Kendall has studied communication’s role in promoting environmentally related organizational change and is the co-author of the book, "Just a Job? Communication, Ethics, and Professional Life".
Associate Professor Katia Campbell is the co-author of the book, "Neo-pragmatism, Communication and the Culture of Creative Democracy". She teaches Nonverbal Communication, Rhetorical Foundations of Communication, Techniques of Persuasion and Freedom of Speech.
Alumni at Work
A small sample of the organizations that have hired graduates of MSU Denver’s Communication Studies program includes:
- ABC News
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Bank of America
- Better Business Bureau
- Asian Pacific Development Center
- ESPN Radio
- Boulder Community Hospital
- InnovAge Long Term Care Options
- Broker Knowledge Group
- El Paso Times
- Gateway Battered Women's Shelter
- D. Edwards & Co.
- IBM, Kaiser Permanente
- Library of Congress
- Time Warner
- Texas A&M University
MSU Denver Communication Studies students have been accepted for post-graduate study at:
Colorado State University
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Colorado Denver
University of Northern Colorado
The Communication Studies program offers students a fascinating curriculum of student-centered courses that address both traditional communication systems as well as techniques developed in response to more timely communications processes including:
Strategic Relationship Maintenance
Rhetoric, Ethics and Social Justice
Facilities and Resources
MSU Denver is located on the Auraria Campus, which it shares with the University of Colorado Denver and Community College Denver. Its proximity to downtown Denver offers you a living laboratory for applying what you have learned in the classroom to the city's vibrant, diverse community.